Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) Alumni Council Chair Michaele Pride announced at the council’s meeting in October that an endowment has been established in the name of GSD Dean Alan Altshuler. The Alumni Council–Alan Altshuler Fund for Financial Aid recognizes Altshuler’s strong commitment to increasing student financial aid during his tenure at the School.
In under 10 minutes, all members of the Alumni Council present at the meeting agreed to participate in the endowment, raising $50,000 that was matched by Alumni Council Development Committee Chair Geoffrey Le Plastrier.
The brainchild of Le Plastrier and fellow council member Ron Ostberg, the endowment is the largest single gift ever made by the council.
“It was like a light that went on for me at 4 o’clock in the morning the day of the council meeting,” said Ostberg. “Geoff picked up on it and decided to create a matching fund. At the council meeting that day, everyone came forward. Recognizing that the council is comprised of members at varying stages of their careers, we created three levels of giving to enable everyone to participate. It was a spectacular show of solidarity and leadership for the council.”
In response, Altshuler acknowledged that the fund will be appreciated and celebrated for many years to come. “This is an extraordinary pledge,” said Altshuler. “In my last few months as dean, I am exceedingly moved that the council chose to establish the financial aid fund in honor of my tenure. This noble gesture will serve as an enduring symbol of friendship to me as I continue on as a professor at the School for many years thereafter.” While dean, Altshuler has substantially increased the amount of need-based aid provided to students and the accessibility of these grants across the diverse student body.
“In establishing this fund, the alumni council honors a beloved dean and his commitment to making a GSD education possible for talented students from around the world, regardless of their financial circumstances,” said Le Plastrier.